A fair go for WA-based AMA members | AMA (WA)


A fair go for WA-based AMA members

Friday March 1, 2024

Dr Mark Duncan-Smith

Concerned about the recent communication from AMA Federal? Click here to read our FAQ section.

Throughout our ongoing negotiations with AMA Federal we have focused on member value for services provided. That remains our focus. We believe in the value of an effective and responsible Federal body, and our preference was and is to remain as a Federation.

We are currently in an alliance with other State AMAs, representing well over half of the total AMA membership nationwide, seeking reform of the Federation. AMA Federal is resistant to such reform, as you will have seen from their earlier email.

For a long time, our State association has contributed approximately 18 per cent of the total member funds remitted to AMA Federal, despite only 10 per cent of doctors residing in Western Australia. We do not believe that this is fair, and does not represent reasonable value for the members of the AMA (WA).

Our most recent formal agreement with AMA Federal expired in 2018. We put in place an interim agreement, to ensure good faith negotiations could continue. AMA Federal has decided not to continue with this arrangement.

To be clear, we have continued remitting funds to AMA Federal up until now.

The AMA Federal email does not accurately reflect the history of the negotiations. On its first visit to Perth, AMA Federal’s Chair, President and CEO staged a walk-out at the beginning of the meeting with our Board. This was profoundly disappointing. On its second visit, the AMA Federal Board Chair was unable to attend, as they reside overseas, and have done for an extended period until now.

The AMA (WA) has recently formed an alliance with the State representative bodies from Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. This alliance is absolutely committed to the need for reform of AMA Federal, and our interstate colleagues are equally surprised by the unilateral cessation of negotiations by the AMA Federal, and AMA Federal’s decision to contact AMA (WA) members directly earlier today without prior notice to the AMA (WA).

Our position has always been, and remains, that a Federal body is important. We do not believe that this problem is unsolvable, and will continue to pursue it, advocating all the while for you to receive the best possible membership service.

We will put in place arrangements to ensure you will continue to derive a level of service for the needs of Western Australian doctors, provided by the WA-based staff who are experts in WA’s industrial, medical and political system.

We understand you may have questions following AMA Federal’s email. We will keep you informed. In the first instance, we will hold a member forum from 6.30pm on Wednesday 6 March 2024. We will provide more details about this forum in the coming days.

If you would like to contact the AMA (WA) Board prior to next week’s member forum, please email board.chair@amawa.com.au.

Lastly, we note that the email from AMA Federal was signed by Associate Professor Andrew Miller. This is not the same doctor as the former President of AMA (WA), Dr Andrew Miller.


Yours sincerely,


Dr Mark Duncan-Smith
AMA (WA) Board Chair
Dr Michael Page
AMA (WA) President